Three days before the UK was due to exit the bloc, ambassadors from the other 27 countries of the EU agreed to delay Brexit for up to three months. The agreement by the EU, made in Brussels on October 28, 2019, allows the UK to leave earlier if it and the EU both ratify the withdrawal deal that Prime Minister Johnson negotiated with the EU earlier this month (the “Withdrawal Agreement”). European Council President Donald Tusk announced the decision on Twitter, stating that “The EU 27 has agreed to accept the UK’s request for a #Brexit flextension until 31 January 2020.” The decision requires formal written procedures from the UK and the EU27, which are expected to be completed imminently.
Members of Parliament narrowly passed an amendment during an emergency session on Saturday, October 19, 2019, to postpone the decision on whether to vote “yes” or “no” to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. Parliament said it needed more time to review the deal, which Prime Minister Johnson concluded last week with European leaders. The primary aim of the amendment is to ensure the UK cannot leave the EU on October 31, 2019, the current Brexit date, without enacting detailed legislation governing the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Saturday’s vote effectively required the Prime Minister to request a third extension of the withdrawal date, which would postpone Brexit until January 31, 2020. Prime Minister Johnson, who had vowed never to seek an extension, sent an unsigned letter to the EU asking for the required three-month extension. But he also sent a signed letter to European Council President Donald Tusk urging EU leaders to turn down the extension request, and has stated he will bring his proposal back before Parliament on Monday, October 21, 2019.
Draft Deal Does Not Change Previously Announced Scheme for Citizens’ Rights or Movement of People
Yesterday, negotiators from the United Kingdom and the European Union agreed to a draft Brexit deal. The proposed withdrawal agreement would replace the one negotiated by former Prime Minister Theresa May. The new agreement addresses the timetable for a transition period; ongoing rights for citizens of the EU, the “EEA” (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, collectively), and Switzerland who live in the UK; and the amount of money the UK has to pay the EU. To take effect, the deal will need to be ratified by UK and EU Parliaments, in that order. The deal will be voted on in the UK Parliament when it sits on Saturday, October 19, 2019. This update provides further detail.
The prospect of extending the deadline for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union past 31 October 2019, the Brexit date, remains uncertain. UK employers accordingly do not know whether they will have to address the consequences of withdrawal imminently. But right now they can take five key steps to protect their workforce—smart measures regardless of whether 31 October arrives with “no deal.” This article details those steps.
On August 12, 2019, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), published an advance copy of the final rule on inadmissibility on public charge grounds. The final rule will be effective 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. According to the notice, applications and petitions already pending with USCIS on the effective date of the rule will not be subject to the new rule. The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2019. This Legal Update provides background on and details of the rule and notes its potential impact and likely response to the rule. Continue reading here.
On Thursday, August 8, 2019, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will hold a public workshop on September 23 to discuss “the role of antitrust enforcement in labor markets and promoting robust competition for the American worker.” This workshop marks another step in the government’s ongoing efforts to address what it sees as competition concerns in practices affecting employee recruiting, hiring, and compensation. This Legal Update summarizes other actions that the DOJ Antitrust Division and state governments have taken in this area and discusses what the workshop should reveal and which legal issues will remain after the workshop concludes. Continue reading here.
On July 24, 2019, Boris Johnson became Prime Minister of the Kingdom. Mr. Johnson has said that if a withdrawal agreement is not concluded between the UK and the European Union (“EU”) by October 31, 2019, the UK will leave the EU without a deal. Mayer Brown’s Chris Chapman, partner in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice in London, provides an update on the current Brexit situation, following the election of Boris Johnson. He also discusses how a no-deal Brexit may affect financial services, customs and tariffs, and the Irish border. Read the article here.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has planned a series of nationwide raids this weekend to detain and remove thousands of undocumented immigrants, according to multiple national media reports. ICE officials have confirmed that agents will target at least 2,000 undocumented immigrants in at least 10 US cities for removal. In our Legal Update, we provide background and a checklist to assist employers in identifying key factors related to the risk profiles for worksite enforcement. Read the Legal Update here.
Given the opposition of the former Judiciary Committee chair, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), who had blocked a similar bill in 2011, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 (S. 386) had been given little chance of passage until this week, when a deal was reached with the bill’s sponsor, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), to include language to address a number of Senator Grassley’s longstanding concerns with the H-1B visa program. This Legal Update provides background, details of the new H-1B measures, and information on a companion House bill.
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On May 31, 2019, the US Department of State (“DOS” or “Department”) updated its visa application forms to require persons seeking US visas to disclose their social media identifiers. The DOS defines “identifier” to include any name used on a social media platform like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. The Department’s FAQs state that the information will be used to strengthen the process for vetting applicants and confirming their identity. The FAQs further state that applicants’ social media information will be protected by the same confidentiality guarantees and safeguards that protect other personal information disclosed in the visa application process, and the Department has stated that social media information will not be used to profile individuals by race or religion.